*As HBO’s critically acclaimed drama “Boardwalk Empire” ventures across 110th street, opportunities to enrich the storyline have developed, as well as the introduction of more diverse cast members.
Of the new faces this season, the great Jeffrey Wright has been introduced as Dr. Valentin Narcisse and a newcomer to television made her debut as Daughter Maitland, Margot Bingham. Bingham, or Margot B as she’s also known, is a multi-talented singer/actress that brings an added dimension to the show as a singer in Chalky White’s Onyx Club.
While she still may be pinching herself for landing the role, Margot understands that nothing is promised even though she’s now part of one of television’s top shows. You can attribute that to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, which teaches its residents about the grit and grind of life and not taking anything for granted. That grit showed itself to be true as she endured eight callbacks during the audition process and found herself in a stiff competition with a few great actresses she’d grown fond of through the process. However, she landed the role and on the first day of taping found herself opposite of Wright and Michael K. Williams — she was really there.
Trained in musical theatre and fresh off a role in the off-Broadway revival of “Rent,” Margot B. splits her time these days on the set of ‘Boardwalk’, while performing around New York City and constantly writing material for an upcoming album. The goals don’t change as dreams are achieved; the motivation intensifies as she continues to grow in and out of the studio and creates music that reflects the growth. The beauty of her role as Daughter Maitland is that her on-screen songs will score the drama of the season and traverse her own story arc as she finds herself in a few scandalous situations. Two of those songs, “I’m Going South” and “Somebody Loves Me” can be found on the show’s soundtrack alongside the likes of Elvis Costello, Liza Minnelli and Patti Smith. The opportunity to warp into a time when the music was so rich with possibilities is a delight to Margot as is the chance to wear the costumes and adorn the glamour of her character. But it’s what lies beneath the makeup that truly makes up Daughter Maitland … and Margot B.
As an independent artist trying to carve out a niche in the crowded streets of New York City, Bingham relates to Daughter Maitland in ways the camera could never capture; she’s been doubted, marginalized and overlooked as a woman or just another pretty face, but she’s kept her feet planted firmly and has seen a change in the tide since she landed the role in “Rent.” She’s appeared in a string of commercials for Revlon, Nikon and Reebok and was also a season 2 star of the webseries “In Between Men.” Her plate remains full, but it’s behind a microphone, as she will be at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on September 28th where Margot is most comfortable. The live show at BAM on Saturday is the opportunity to share new material and new arrangements to show off the progress she’s made as a performer over the years. Her jazzy sound is punctuated with a gritty soul edge as she fronts a live band and performs songs from her catalog and a few covers.
For many, landing a role on a show with the prestige of “Boardwalk Empire” would be the cherry on top, but for Margot B. it’s just the beginning. She’s poised to build off this season and introduce her music to new fans, as she continues to grow into the woman she wants to be. Yes, the task seems tall, but she’s already proven to have what it takes to make it. Just give her a little time and we’ll all be waiting to see what Margot B. does next.
Stay current with Margot Bingham at www.MargotB.com and via Facebook (Margot B.). If you’re in the New York City area, drop by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for her free show on Saturday, September 28th (details can be found here).